CPR for Adults & Children


Check the victim for unresponsiveness. (During cardiac arrest, the heart stops pumping blood, the blood pressure falls to zero and the pulse disappears. Within 10 seconds of cardiac arrest the person loses consciousness and becomes unresponsive. If you shake or shout at the victim, there will be no response. Sometimes a person in cardiac arrest may make grunting, gasping or snoring-type breathing sounds for a couple of minutes. Do not be confused by this abnormal type of breathing.) If a person is unresponsive and not breathing (or breathing abnormally) then call 911 and begin CPR.

If there is no response, Call 911 and return to the victim. In most locations, the emergency dispatcher can assist you with CPR instructions.

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Tilt the head back and listen for breathing. (Remember a person in cardiac arrest may have abnormal breathing for a couple of minutes. This abnormal breathing is called "agonal respiration" and is the result of the brain's breathing center sending out signals even though circulation has ceased. The key point is that the abnormal breathing may sound like grunting, gasping or snoring. It disappears in 2 to 3 minutes. If you see this type of breathing do not delay CPR. The person desperately needs air and only you can provide it.) If not breathing normally, pinch nose and cover the mouth with yours and blow until you see the chest rise. Give 2 breaths. Each breath should take 2 seconds.

Chest Compressions

If the victim is still not breathing normally, coughing or moving, begin chest compressions.  Push down on the chest 1 1/2 to 2 inches 15 times right between the nipples. In general, the chest should be pushed down 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Sometimes you may hear a cracking sound. Do not be alarmed. The sound is caused by cartilage or ribs cracking. Even if this occurs the damage is not serious. The risk of delaying CPR or not doing CPR is far greater than the risk of a broken rib. Pump at the rate of 100/minute, faster than once per second.

Continue with 2 breaths and 15 pumps until help arrives.

Note: This ratio is the same for one-person and two-person CPR.  In two-person CPR the person pumping the chest stops while the other gives mouth-to-mouth breathing.

CPR for Children (Ages 1 to 8 Years)

CPR for children is similar to performing Quick CPR for adults. There are, however, four differences:

  1. If you are alone with the child give one minute of CPR before calling 911.
  2. Use the heel of one hand for chest compressions.
  3. Press the sternum down 1 to 1 1/2 inches.
  4. Give 1 full breath followed by 5 chest compressions.